© The Basil D’Oliveira Foundation 2015
Web Site created by Chris Everton
Damian’s Story Playing Cricket for Worcestershire Damian never thought about cricket as he really wanted to be a footballer, he had trials with WBA and Arsenal and only started playing cricket at the ripe old age of 15, after his father Basil suggested he play because he had nothing else to do in the summer. Damian was offered a trial at Worcestershire in 1979 for six weeks at the start of the season. He originally concentrated on wicketkeeping, but at this stage decided to give up wicket keeping in favour of being a batsmen, however the 2nd team wicket keeper was away at university so he had to keep, this meant batting down the order. He was not taken on the staff following the trial and was extremely disappointed. Mike Vockins the Secretary at Worcestershire called him and asked if he would be interested in having a trial to go on the Lords ground staff (MCC Young Cricketers). He had a trial in January 1980, there were 160 applicants for 4 available places, Damian was sucessful and offered a place, which he took up in March 1980. He had two seasons on the MCCYC Staff and in the second year spent most of the season playing for the Worcestershire 2nd XI and had a good season finishing top of the batting averages and as a result was offered a professional contract for 1983. Damian remained a contracted player for Worcestershire from 1983 to 1996 which was a very successful period of the Counties history. Coaching & Developing the Academy In 1996 Damian was appointed 2nd XI Captain/Coach and in 2001 adopted the role of Academy Director which he held until 2014. His official title was Assistant Coach & Academy Director. As Academy Director proved to be a catalyst for finding new talent not only within Worcestershire but throughout the Minor Counties and by building relationships with local schools. The Satellite Academies in Herefordshire, Shropshire and the Black Country, coaches 12- 14 year olds, which in turn allows the cream of the young cricketers to feed into the main Worcestershire Academy. Measurable Success Damian looked after the Academy for over 15 years, he knew the job back to front and it can't just be a case of luck many good players attend, or have passed through the Academy and so many players in the current first team squad are from the Academy. In Damians last year, there were 14 in the Academy, five have been selected for the Under-17 'super fours' regional side which is part of the ongoing selection process for the England Development Programme (EDP) run from Under-16s to Under-19. Damian’s Legacy Damian’s legacy is the establishment of a first class, much respected Cricket Academy which has already developed young cricket talent and will continue to do so as a result of the solid foundation which Damian has been instumental in creating.
© The Basil D’Oliveira Foundation 2015 Website created by Chris Everton
Damian’s Story
Playing Cricket for Worcestershire Damian never thought about cricket as he really wanted to be a footballer, he had trials with WBA and Arsenal and only started playing cricket at the ripe old age of 15, after his father Basil suggested he play because he had nothing else to do in the summer. Damian was offered a trial at Worcestershire in 1979 for six weeks at the start of the season. He originally concentrated on wicketkeeping, but at this stage decided to give up wicket keeping in favour of being a batsmen, however the 2nd team wicket keeper was away at university so he had to keep, this meant batting down the order. He was not taken on the staff following the trial and was extremely disappointed. Mike Vockins the Secretary at Worcestershire called him and asked if he would be interested in having a trial to go on the Lords ground staff (MCC Young Cricketers). He had a trial in January 1980, there were 160 applicants for 4 available places, Damian was sucessful and offered a place, which he took up in March 1980. He had two seasons on the MCCYC Staff and in the second year spent most of the season playing for the Worcestershire 2nd XI and had a good season finishing top of the batting averages and as a result was offered a professional contract for 1983. Damian remained a contracted player for Worcestershire from 1983 to 1996 which was a very successful period of the Counties history. Coaching & Developing the Academy In 1996 Damian was appointed 2nd XI Captain/Coach and in 2001 adopted the role of Academy Director which he held until 2014. His official title was Assistant Coach & Academy Director. As Academy Director proved to be a catalyst for finding new talent not only within Worcestershire but throughout the Minor Counties and by building relationships with local schools. The Satellite Academies in Herefordshire, Shropshire and the Black Country, coaches 12- 14 year olds, which in turn allows the cream of the young cricketers to feed into the main Worcestershire Academy. Measurable Success Damian looked after the Academy for over 15 years, he knew the job back to front and it can't just be a case of luck many good players attend, or have passed through the Academy and so many players in the current first team squad are from the Academy. In Damians last year, there were 14 in the Academy, five have been selected for the Under-17 'super fours' regional side which is part of the ongoing selection process for the England Development Programme (EDP) run from Under-16s to Under-19. Damian’s Legacy Damian’s legacy is the establishment of a first class, much respected Cricket Academy which has already developed young cricket talent and will continue to do so as a result of the solid foundation which Damian has been instumental in creating.